Press Release
May 29, 2013


Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan scores Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman for "name-calling" and "flip-flopping" after the outgoing representative used defamatory language against Pangilinan in reaction to President Benigno Aquino III's veto of the Centenarian Bill.

According to the President's veto letter, "The 75-percent discount exceeds the usual mark-up rate of most businesses and will obliterate profit margins and result in capital loss" because "the proposed measure does not provide for a tax deduction to recover the said discount."

The President was referring to the proposal within the bill that offers "75% discount and exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) on the sale of goods and services from all establishments, but only for the exclusive use and enjoyment of the centenarians."

Pangilinan points out: "It is on record that Lagman agreed to the proposals and it was he who requested that I file a counterpart bill in the Senate. Now with this veto he flip-flops, does a 180-degree turn, and resorts to name-calling and finger-pointing. What a shame. I expected better from a seasoned legislator. His actuations are saddening and pitiful."

"We should be able to hold politicians to their word, but sadly that's not the case with Edcel," Pangilinan laments.

In regard to the actual veto, the two-term senator says, "With all due respect, I disagree with the Executive branch. There are some 5,000 centenarians in this country with a population of nearly 100 million--too few to make a serious impact on the sectors affected. Thus, the discounts, in my view, are negligible while the effect on the weak, feeble, and aged needing government care would be considerable."

"I don't think it was asking too much to provide them with such benefits considering their delicate physical and mental condition."

Aside from the 75% discount, other proposed incentives and recognition under the Centenarian Bill are: (1) a P100,000 cash gift together with a congratulatory letter from the President of the Philippines; (2) a plaque of recognition and cash incentive by their respective cities of local governments; (3) other "psychological and financial incentives." It also aims to amend the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 and to declare every 25th of September as "National Respect for Centenarians Day."

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